The definition of health is more than just the absence of disease. Prevention and wellness practices have been on the rise in recent years in response to ever-increasing incidences of chronic diseases. Ayurveda has been effectively using preventive or longevity measures, such as Achar Rasayana “behavioral medicine,” for a long time. Ayurveda goes a step further in defining health as a balanced state of physical, mental, emotional, sensorial and environmental health – an interdependence of mind, body, and the spirit is an understatement. Achar Rasayana gives us tools to find balance in our daily life. Behavioral medicine plays an important role in addressing the challenge we face today in dealing with chronic conditions that stem from stress caused by unhealthy lifestyles. Actions can damage or nourish the body’s Prana, the life force. Harsh, tense, conflicted behavior (what we today call stressed behavior) disturbs the flow of Prana (Chopra, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, 263).
We are leading lives without a moral context. The modern world has shifted from spiritual aspirations to a war for material accumulation. While Darwinian theory specifies that the purpose of life’s struggles is survival, it does not specify a means that should be used in serving that end. Apparently, “anything goes” in the perceived struggle because the goal is simply survival – by any means. Rather than framing the character of our lives by the laws of morality, the neo-Darwinism of Mayr suggests that we live our lives by the law of the jungle (Lipton, 158).
The principles of Achar Rasayana are more relevant today than ever. It goes into the heart of the issue we are trying to overcome in order to be well and healthy. Environmental toxicity and the food chain we are accustomed to, have threatened our lives. The integral connection between nature and man is delicate. For hundreds of years, we have acted against nature by ignoring our essential connectedness and defining ourselves as separate from our world. We have reached the point that we can no longer live according to this false view of who we really are(Mctaggart 34).
The concept of Achar Rasayana is often talked about in different faiths and religions. The Ten Commandments, a list of religious and moral imperatives, are recognized as a moral foundation in Judaism and Christianity. Other major religions such as Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism preach about truthfulness, non- violence, kindness, austerity etc. The principles of Achar Rasayana, if implemented properly in our lives, can make us a healthy, wealthy, and disease-free society. It not only prevents the disease in the first place but also reverses the stages of disease process.
Achaea rasayana (rejuvenation therapy) is a unique concept in Ayurveda that implies moral, ethical, and benevolent conduct: truth, nonviolence, personal and public cleanliness, mental and personal hygiene, devotion, compassion, and a yogic lifestyle. These behaviors bring about rejuvenation in the body-mind system. One who adopts such conduct gains all benefits of rasayana therapy without physically consuming any material rasayana remedy or recipe, although it can be practiced alone or in a combination with material substance rasayana therapy. The concept of achar rasayana is to change our behaviors in order to reverse the disease process and stay in balance.
The rejuvenation therapy (Achar Rasayana) in Ayurveda can be an essential tool for modern medicine in order to achieve the objective of treating the root cause of a disease. In today’s world where more people are losing their identity and constantly seeking external means to find peace and joy, good behaviors cultivate goodness in a person which would elevate their soul. The body heals itself when we are in tune with our true essence which is naturally free from anxiety and stress. When the stress prevents the molecules from flowing freely where needed, the largely autonomic processes that are regulated by peptide flow, such as breathing, blood flow, immunity, digestion, and elimination, collapse down to a few simple feedback loops and upset the normal healing response (Pert, Candace, Molecules of Emotion, 243).
1. Chopra, Deepak, M.D. “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind.” Three Rivers Press. 1998.
2. Lipton, Bruce. “ The Biology of Belief.” Hay House, Inc. 2008.
3. Mctaggart, Lynne. “No Such thing as a thing.” Ode July 2011: 35-41.
4. Pert, Candace. “Molecules of Emotion.” Simon and Schuster. 2003.